Colorado Civil Union Attorney
About the Colorado Civil Union Act
Looking for a lawyer for a civil union case in Colorado? Colorado has been
the site of an ongoing struggle between those who support same-sex marriage
and those who oppose it. Boulder County issued a number of marriage licenses
to same-sex couples in 1975, only to have those licenses later invalidated
by the state attorney general. Legislation in 1992 stripped same-sex individuals
from claiming any type of legal protection as a minority group, though
this was later struck down by the U.S. Supreme Court. A 2006 referendum
to allow couples to enter into domestic partnerships was narrowly defeated,
though a 2009 law granted same-sex partners to claim certain types of
benefits and rights of
visitation. The most recent development in this field is the Colorado Civil Union
Act, a law which was passed in March of 2013 and which goes into effect
on May 1, 2013.
The Colorado Civil Union Act provides the opportunity for same-sex couples
to enter into fully legally recognized civil unions. It is not quite same-sex
marriage, but it essentially provides all of the same rights and responsibilities
of a marriage, including:
- The rights of inheritance
- The rights to make important medical decisions in the event of the incapacity
of the other partner
- The right to have greater parental rights
- The right to adopt and be legal parents of a child
It is important, if you are entering into a civil union with your partner,
to consult with a
Denver family attorney to discuss your rights and your legal options.
Parental Rights in Same-Sex Civil Unions
One of the most important considerations to take into account when entering
into a civil union has to do with parental rights. If you and your partner
adopt a child together, both of you will be the legal parents of the child.
In the event that one of you bears a child after the civil union has been
entered it may still be advisable for the non-biological parent to formally
adopt the child to ensure that there are no legal challenges to the parent-child
relationship in the future. The same is true in the case that either partner
has a child at the time when the union is entered; the other partner must
carry out an adoption, which may involve legally terminating the parental
rights of the child's other parent.
Another option you may choose to consider at the time of entering into
a civil union is to draft and execute a prenuptial agreement. Such agreements
are not only for the wealthy; they are for any couple who want to add
strength and stability to their relationship by clearly and unequivocally
setting out their economic rights and responsibilities in the union.
prenuptial agreement is essentially a contract which describes how any shared property may
be divided up in the event that your union comes to a premature end, as
well as whether either party may be held responsible to pay alimony. It
may additionally include terms concerning who is responsible for paying
certain expenses during the marriage.
Same-Sex Divorce Attorney in Colorado
Searching for a lawyer for a civil union case in Denver? In addition to
the concerns involved in entering a civil union, it is also important
to take into account the fact that many civil unions will end in dissolution.
This is actually one of the most powerful rights bestowed by the new civil
union law, since prior to this time, same-sex couples had few if any rights
in respect to shared property and other matters at the time that their
relationship came to an end. Regardless of how long the relationship lasted,
shared property would still often go by default to the person whose name
was on the title or deed. Now, just as in a
divorce, you can claim your rightful share of assets and property which you and
your partner have obtained together, in addition to claiming parental
rights such as for child custody, visitation and child support.
To learn more about your options,
contact us now at Jones Law Firm, PC for an initial consultation.